Detail from exhibition “One Hundred Hearts and Hands” Series of 50 hearts and 50 hands, Relief prints approx 4″x6″ each
BY teresa villegas
Working in Black and White was a critical first step in my training as an artist and illustrator.
There’s something magical and satisfying about bringing an ethereal idea from your imagination and bringing it into the physical world with a simple sketch. For me, the inspiration happens through the process of refinement and working with it until it “reads” well and is understood in an immediate instance.
Maybe that’s why I like graphic and visual design so much too. It feels like a success for me when the right brain (creative) and left brain (analytical) sync up perfectly. So in the two camps of Fine Art and Graphic/Visual Design, I find my printmaking work straddles the two well.
“Arid Adaptations” by Teresa Villegas 66″ x 36″
Relief Print, woodcut and photo polymer relief, edition of 7, Arches Cover White 300gms. Galley framed size: 68.75″ x 39″ x 2″ floated, Arches Cvr Wht. Black hardwood frame.
I carved the matrix on 8′ x 4′ particle board, the largest wood carving I’ve ever made. I then worked with Master Printmaker Brent Bond of Santo Press, Scottsdale, AZ to print and complete the edition.
This piece is a commentary on how man adapts to nature. We live in the Sonoran Desert and thus, the Sonoran Desert lives within us.
In this work, desert plants are internal organs of the human body and mirror our relationship with our sense of place. The text identifies the genus species names of the desert plants native to the Sonoran Desert.
The underlying message is for us to become more aware of ourselves in our environments and how we relate to them. How can we nurture this symbiotic relationship? Hopefully, with respect, knowledge, science, and understanding.
This is also a commentary on Darwin’s most often misquoted statement that “evolution is the survival of the fittest.” So I wanted to emphasize his statement correctly, “evolution is the survival of those species able to adapt.”
“El Mundo Al Reves” (The World Upside Down) by Teresa Villegas & Ilan Stavans
Clam Shell Box; Book of Prints. Limited edition of 10 books; Polymer Plate Relief, Archival inks, Archival Paper Stonehenge 250 gm.
This book was inspired by an antique broadside titled “El Mundo al Revés” a late 19th century print I saw years ago while traveling through Spain. These old prints illustrated entertaining scenes showing the world’s natural order in reverse. One of the latent functions of these prints was to remind people of the proper order of things by showing them in reverse.
This book is a custom handmade clamshell box containing all 10 relief prints accompanied with 10 letterpress text pages of fables, bilingual Spanish-English. (8.5″ x 8″ x 1″) The pages are not bound but freely stacked in order of image, then fable etc. so that the text page can be held and turned in the direction of the preferred language, to exemplify the theme of the book and the physical act of “turning upside down.”
I first carved high density rubber blocks, hand printed them, then created a digital file to make the polymer plates for printing the edition on a press. The text pages were run 2 color through a letter press. Master Printer Brent Bond of Santo Press printed this edition. I created the images first, and then worked with author Ilan Stavans. who wrote fables in this book.
Typically books are bound at the spine, but in this book the pages are free floating. The viewer chooses their preferred vernacular to read it in either Spanish or English.
“El Mundo Al Reves” (The World Upside Down) by Teresa Villegas & Ilan Stavans, Clam Shell Box; Book of Prints. Limited edition of 10 books; Polymer Plate Relief, Archival inks, Archival Paper Stonehenge 250 gm. Large print w 9 images of El Mundo Al Reves. Limited edition of Clamshell boxed series w Ilan Stavans fables, individual prints of images and large print with 9 images are for sale in my Etsy shop.
BY teresa villegas
Hand Made Art Books
These handmade accordion fold/concertina books fold out to celebrate the Sun and life’s lessons as parables from around the world to remind us how short and precious our lives really are.
All the accordion books stretch out to 30.75″ long, printed on one side with a folded cover to keep it nice and tidy when not displayed. Folded they measure 4″ x 5.25″ x .50″ spine. These works are influenced by the ancient Mayan codices and the artisan handmade books of letterpress printers to the contemporary non-purist artmaking “zines.” For more info visit my micro publishing company HeratandMindPress.com